STORY BY JESSICA LYNK
Markers and neon posters are scattered across the floor while about 15 students sit and write “Why I relay?” across the top. Reasons from “my grandma” to “for more birthdays” fill the pages.
Drake Colleges Against Cancer (CAC) president senior Annelise Tarnowski then begins to discuss the coming weeks for the club.
Every Monday at 8 p.m. the CAC meetings look quite similar to this, as their goal is to advocate against cancer.
“One of the biggest things that Colleges Against Cancer does is our big spring event called Relay for Life,” Tarnowski said. “Of course before that we have a couple of mini-events like Bowling for Boobs. The events are mostly advocacy and fundraising focused events.”
Relay for Life is happening on April 10 from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m., so the group is gearing up for the upcoming event.
“We’ve worked to schedule what the actual event looks like, since it is a 12-hour event,” Tarnowski said. “That is a pretty uncommon event on campus and we have worked to create an atmosphere for Relay for Life by making decorations at our general member meetings.”
During the general meetings, the group does anything from making posters to discussing how they can advocate and fundraise for the fight on cancer.
“This past week we made posters for our Paint the Campus Purple Campaign,” said first year and CAC member Kelsey Panfil said. “A few weeks ago, we started making decoration for Relay for Life, so that has been our focus right now.”
The funds raised by CAC goes to the American Cancer Society and the Hope Lodge. The Hope Lodge is a free place where cancer patients and loved ones can stay when they cannot afford to go back and forth from home.
“CAC is like many other service organizations in that doing this work makes you feel good, but I think CAC is unique in that you have opportunity to see where your funds are going. You have the opportunity to meet families whose lives you are changing,” Tarnowski said.
For junior Co-Vice President Erin Andrus, the organization is a good way to support something that she feels close to.
“I know a lot of people who are affected by cancer, so I wanted to give back in a way,” Andrus said.
Although the organization may seem small, the impact is felt by those involved.
“Everybody knows somebody who has been affected by cancer,” Andrus said. “Even though we are a small organization, we have a big message to send and a big impact.”